Let’s Play!



Frank Wilson is a neurologist, Nate Johnson is a mechanic. He taught mechanics in a high school in Long Beach, and found that his students were no longer able to solve problems. And he tried to figure out why. And he came to the conclusion, quite on his own, that the students who could no longer solve problems, such as fixing cars, hadn’t worked with their hands.

Frank Wilson had written a book called “The Hand.” Now JPL, NASA and Boeing, before they will hire a research and development problem solver — even if they’re summa cum laude from Harvard or Cal Tech — if they haven’t fixed cars, haven’t done stuff with their hands early in life, played with their hands, they can’t problem-solve as well.

So play is practical, and it’s very important. Now one of the things about play is that it is born by curiosity and exploration.

the program says that the opposite of play is not work, it’s depression. And I think if you think about life without play — no humor, no flirtation, no movies, no games, no fantasy and, and, and. Try and imagine a culture or a life, adult or otherwise without play.


And the thing that’s so unique about our species is that we’re really designed to play through our whole lifetime.

So what I would encourage on an individual level to do, is to explore backwards as far as you can go to the most clear, joyful, playful image that you have, whether it’s with a toy, on a birthday or on a vacation. And begin to build to build from the emotion of that into how that connects with your life now. And you’ll find, you may change jobs — which has happened to a number people when I’ve had them do this — in order to be more empowered through their play. Or you’ll be able to enrich your life by prioritizing it and paying attention to it.

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